The NFL Draft is still a few months away, but there is still plenty to take away from all of the mock drafts that are posted throughout the web. Although they aren’t the most accurate source of information prior to the free agency period, it still can give an idea of where certain players are likely to land.
For the Chargers, it seems that they could decide to go in many different directions with the seventh overall pick. With big holes at safety and along the offensive line, there is plenty of speculation regarding the Chargers pick.
Early on, there has been a major trend. The feeling is that the Chargers are leaning to select yet another player from Ohio State.
Here’s what the experts think:
Dan Kadar (SBNation.com): S Malik Hooker - Ohio State
Here’s Kadar’s take
The Chargers have a sure-thing playmaker on the front of the defense with Joey Bosa, and could get one for the back half with his former college teammate Hooker. He’s the rangy type of free safety the Chargers need.
Rob Rang and Dane Brugler (CBS Sports.com): S Malik Hooker - Ohio State
Both Rang and Brugler are on the same page here. The Bolts have a glaring need at safety. Hooker has the ball skills to be a playmaker in the back end of the secondary.
Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein (NFL.com): S Malik Hooker - Ohio State
There seems to be a trend here. Hooker again lands with the Chargers in yet another pair of mock drafts. It’s logical to think that Hooker will land in Los Angeles. The Chargers cannot afford to have Dwight Lowery start again and there is no guarantee that Jahleel Addae will be back.
(Note: The other draft experts at NFL.com mocked Hooker to the Chargers as well)
Mel Kiper (ESPN): OT Cam Robinson
Here’s Kiper’s take from his mock draft 1.0
This isn't a great class for top-tier blindside protectors, but Robinson is at the top of the list, though I think his best skill -- run-blocking -- means he'd be better as a right tackle at the next level. A three-year starter for the Crimson Tide, he's a known commodity in the NFL. The Chargers ranked in the bottom third of the league in rushing (3.8 yards per carry, 94.4 yards per game) in 2016, and tackles Joe Barksdale and King Dunlap have underwhelmed.
Kiper is now the odd man out. Still, his selection makes sense. The Chargers had two below average tackles last season and with a quarterback like Philip Rivers, the number one priority should be protecting his blindside. That’s exactly what Robinson would be brought to Los Angeles to do.
WalterFootball.com (@walterfootball): S Malik Hooker
The Chargers could go in a number of directions at No. 7. I've had Cam Robinson slotted here for a while. However, I think Malik Hooker can be considered the superior prospect. Plus, he fills a huge need. The Chargers were already weak at safety in the wake of Eric Weddle's departure, and now Jahleel Addae happens to be an impending free agent.
Matt Miller (Bleacher Report): S Malik Hooker
In his post-Pro Bowl mock, Miller has the Chargers taking Hooker. Could it be safe to say that it is because Eric Weddle was on the field representing his new team at the Pro Bowl?
Without a top tier talent at safety, the Chargers were prone to giving up huge plays. That could all change with the selection of Hooker. With a healthy Jason Verrett and another strong season from Casey Hayward, it’s easy to get excited about Hooker at number seven.